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Leadership Venango Holds Second Session: Maximizing Clean Communications


The 2020 Class of Leadership Venango met on November 13 at PennDOT’s District 1 Office in Oil City to discuss “Maximizing Clean Communications.”

The day began with a welcome from Jim Foringer, District Executive of PennDOT District 1. Jim provided an overview of PennDOT District 1 territory and responsibilities, helping the class better understand the scope of work that comes out of our region.

The rest of the morning was spent with Jill Harry, PennDOT District 1 Press Officer and Ashley (Cowles) Sheffer, program manager of Be Here. Jill shared her experience working in Media Relations. She reviewed how to appropriately and effectively connect with different types of media to provide them the information they are seeking, while best representing your business or organization. Ashley provided insights on how to use social media to connect with customers. She reviewed the features of the social media platforms to market your business. Jill and Ashley engaged the class in several interactive exercises.

Over lunch, Lucas Salusky with Identity Studio & Design took a class photo on the steps of the Venango Museum and took each class member’s professional headshot.

Betsy Kellner, Executive Director of the Venango Museum, gave an overview of the museum and demonstrated their Theatre Organ. Several class members were visiting the museum for the first time. Cindy Urban, President of Klapec Trucking Co (KTC), and Greg Lander, Vice President of KTC, joined the class for lunch. Greg is also a 2019 Leadership Venango graduate.

To begin the afternoon, Brian McNulty, Assistant District Executive at PennDOT District 1 and 2019 Leadership Venango Graduate, gave a presentation about Project Management. He provided an overview of PennDOT projects and explained the process they use, beginning with the goals in mind.  Brian then worked with the class to explore how this process could work for them with the Leadership Venango team projects.

The remainder of the day was spent with Susan Hileman, Strategic Business Advisor for Northwest IRC, on Effective Communication. The class learned about communication channels and barriers and discussed verbal and non-verbal communication and listening skills. Susan also talked about communication across different generations and cultures.

While class feedback showed that every part of the day was appreciated by participants, many cited the value of being reminded to actively listen and suggested they would be more mindful of this, in returning to work and home.

Find bios for the 2020 class of Leadership Venango here.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s December 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.